Title: The Travels of a Trashy Tome
Author: Shenandoah Risu
Content Flags: BAD literature making the rounds
Spoilers: SGU Season 1
Characters: a bad book, the Destiny crew
Word Count: 1,072
Summary: What happened to the "Wormhole X-Treme" tie in novel "The Zombie Princess from Planet 357" that ended up on the Destiny.
Author's Notes: Written for the challenge "Sequence This" at the LJ Comm stargateland.
Disclaimer: I don't own SGU. I wouldn't know what to do with it. Now, Young... Young I'd know what to do with. He'd get a LOT more than just a tacky book from me. ;-)
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The Travels of a Trashy Tome
Dr. Morrison had purchased the latest tie-in novel for the schlocky sci-fi series "Wormhole X-Treme" shortly after he had arrived on Icarus Base, thinking gleefully to himself that had no idea where this particular book would actually end up. Of course he had to wait for the Hammond to make the trip to deliver his guilty pleasure. And it arrived in the company of a US Senator, his daughter and some geeky kid who'd won a video game contest or something.
"Oh, wow," Andrea Palmer says, looking over Morrison's shoulder as he rips open the tell-tale box with the curved black arrow. "Is that the new one?"
Morrison gets the cold shivers down his back because he has a terrible crush on Palmer who is tall, blond and all legs from the neck down. "Umm, yes," he stutters. "It's 'The Zombie Princess from Planet 357'."
"Oooooh…" Palmer makes Bambi eyes at him. "May I borrow it when you're done?"
And of course Morrison, ever the gentleman, just hands it to her. Minutes later the base comes under attack and he is too busy with his own quest for survival to think of the book for quite a while.
"Oh my goodness," Rush sighs, busy with sorting through Palmer's personal effects after she had disappeared through the Gate on the desert planet, in the hopes of finding her scientific notes. "A real book! And what drivel!"
But to Rush, every book is precious – his love affair with the printed word started at an early age when he had no money to buy books, and so they've always been a bit special to him.
He promptly forgets about it when he finds Palmer's laptop, but somehow the novel ends up in his quarters and provides suitably miserable and mediocre reading material as they all think they are going to burn up inside a star.
A few days later Dale Volker finds it at the Apple Core, where Rush uses it as a coaster for a cup of hot tea.
"You brought a Wormhole X-Treme novel?" he squeaks. "I found it in Dr. Palmer's effects," Rush mumbles absently, and Volker snatches it, quick as lightning.
That evening he locks the hatch to his quarters and settles in for a most satisfying romp through a different universe, shivering over the nail-biting adventures of Colonel Danning and his stalwart cohorts. He has to admit – it is the best tie-in novel to date. And he's read each and every one of them.
"I'm soooo bored," Chloe wails at the breakfast table in the mess hall one morning. The others look at each other in consternation, but then the helpful suggestions start to pour in: teach a yoga class, help with KP duty, assist TJ with the infirmary inventory, gun training, kino flying lessons…
"I have a book you can borrow," Dale whispers in her ear later. He crooks his finger at her wide-eyed look and she follows him to his quarters where he hands her the novel. Chloe gives him a big hug and a kiss on the cheek and skedaddles, hugging the tome to her heaving bosom.
"What the heck is that thing," Matthew Scott grouses a few nights later when Chloe just won't put the book down while he is in the mood for some nookie. "Book," she answers and then giggles at something or other.
Matt drops back onto his pillow and sighs deeply. He simply can't compete with a Wormhole X-Treme novel.
And before he knows it he has kibitzed the opus and snuck off to the armory to read it while Chloe is teaching her Yoga class.
Oh man. How he envies Colonel Danning!
"I brought you something to read," Matt holds out the softcover to Colonel Young who is confined to his quarters pending the outcome of the investigation of how Spencer's murder weapon has ended up in his room.
Young squints at the well-worn cover and pulls out his reading glasses. "Zombie Princess? Seriously?"
Matt holds up his hands. "Chloe was reading it. I thought it might help pass the time while you wait."
"Mmmhmm, sure… okay…" comes Young's distracted reply, as Matt quietly leaves the room with his CO engrossed in the book.
"A peace offering?"
Camile stares at the tome that Young has handed to her.
"Of a sort," he replies. "It's absolutely horrible, but we don't have a lot to chose from, and I thought you might like to unwind a bit."
She actually smiles at him. "Why, thank you – that's very kind of you. It's one of the things I miss most about home."
"Well, maybe we should start a writers' club or something. Have a short story contest."
She looks at him in surprise. "That's a lovely idea! I'll get right on it. I know Lisa will love to organize something like that."
"A writer's club?" Lisa's eyes go wide. "Why me?"
"Well, TJ's psych eval of you said that you liked to read, so…"
Lisa coughs. "Yes, yes, of course, I'd be happy to get the ball rolling on that."
Camile holds up the novel. "And as a reward –"
But Lisa has already pounced on the proffered book, smiling angelically and beating a hasty retreat, leaving Camile shaking her head.
"And the winner of our first short story competition will get first dibs on this." Lisa holds up the tome at the general crew meeting.
"My book," Morrison yelps.
"Yours when you win, doofus," Brody grumbles at him.
"No, I swear I bought it and gave it to Dr. Palmer, and – and – and then I don't know what happened because Icarus… and Destiny… and Palmer was gone and I thought she had taken it with her to wherever she had gone –"
"Yo, maaan, take a breath," Greer waves him off. Morrison gives him a dirty look, snatches a sheet of paper and a pen and plops himself down at a table and begins to write furiously.
And before long, dozens of others follow suit and for hours the only sound in the mess hall is the scritch-scratch of pens.
Unfortunately for Morrison, it's Eli's Star Wars spin-off story that wins this round, and he takes off with the book towards the kino room like a rocket.
Morrison swears revenge and starts on his next story.